You’re standing on three different layers and everyone’s eyes are upon you. Cork, rope, lug sole. Those who believe that the shoe is the ultimate finishing touch to an outfit (and there are plenty of us) will be very excited by the flatforms in Iride De Portu‘s new collection. They don’t look like platform shoes, or like those ancient Greek-style sandals; they have a three-layered sole and straps, with bold color combinations that won’t make you at all nervous about wearing them.
The shoes made by Iride De Portu, which is also their brand name, are perfect for day or night; they can be worn with jeans, dresses or slacks. They go with everything. Not because they are invisible, but because you will want to build the rest of your outfit around them.
Her Italian father would always bring back clothes for her from his travels that were – shall we say – ahead of their time. In countries like Greece which generally don’t lead fashion but follow it, new trends arrive later, so Iride would wear the clothes her father brought her from Milan the following year.
After finishing school, she went to Central Saint Martins in London and Istituto Marangoni in Milan to study fashion, art and design. Her internship at the Italian Costume National as assistant to the accessory designer helped her decide that she wanted to focus on shoes. She liked the Missoni and Etro houses, the color combinations, the subtle psychedelia, and accessories “that make a statement.”
“The shoes made by Iride De Portu, which is also their brand name, are perfect for day or night; they can be worn with jeans, dresses or slacks. ”
In Greece, shoe designers are still a rarity. Shoes are difficult to manufacture and expensive. Iride decided not just to design shoes, but to make them herself – by hand. When she came to Greece, she attended a course on shoe-making, “so I would know how far I could take my fantasies as a designer.” So for the last year or so, she has been designing and constructing sandals, boots, high-heels, and men’s and women’s shoes to order. She also makes bespoke shoes: you come up with an image of what you would like your own, original shoes to look like and a few weeks later, you’re wearing them.
She uses leather, cork and fabric, but her environmental concerns are driving her to seek out non-leather materials. Inside the handmade imaginative origami box, which she has entered in packaging competitions, you will find a certificate that your shoes have one of the best soles in the world (Vibram), depending on the design, while all of them include a guarantee that they have been made by hand.
Apart from sandals, she makes boots, high heels, mocasins… futuristic shoes for men and women which seem to have come from the future. At her showroom in the old neighborhood of tanners and shoemakers in Psiri, you can try on different designs, smell the genuine leather and see for yourself the careful work that goes into making these unique shoes. You can also ask Iride about what we’ll be wearing next year. She will probably know from her father.
24-26 Pallados St.
• Tel. (+30) 210.325.5119
• Tue-Fri: 12 – 6 pm., by appointment, Sat: 12 – 6 pm